In latestOn Friday 5th Jan, 2018

Airlines begin to phase out in-flight entertainment

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Travel at 60

Image: Getty/HsinJuHSU

Pack a book, your tablet and a smartphone full of your favourite songs, travellers, because some carriers are phasing out in-flight entertainment.

The changes come amid plans to redesign planes without seatback screens.

According to the New York Times, the entertainment systems are costly to install, amounting to about $10,000 per seat, while also adding significant weight to the aircraft. 

“Some airlines are looking at this from the standpoint of cost savings by removing the hardware,” Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group, told the New York Times.

“They reduce the weight of the aircraft, and they reduce the expense associated with maintaining that equipment.”

Qantas has already begun removing in-flight entertainment devices from their domestic carriers, and airlines American and United Airlines in the United States have jumped on board with the phaseout, too.

While some travellers are concerned about the removal of the in-flight entertainment devices, others find the units redundant.

“There are screens everywhere else in life,” Lindsay Renfro, an associate professor at the Mayo Clinic said.

“I know that when I am flying and I look around me, people are by and large using personal devices, even when a seatback screen is available to them.”

Other frequent flyers aren’t fans of the in-flight entertainment at all.

“What's wrong with a book or crossword or a sleep?” said one traveller, Dawn, on social media.

Australian airlines Qantas and Virgin Airlines both currently offer entertainment services that are accessible by the passenger by downloading an app onto their own device.

Passengers must remember to download the app before take-off as flight mode will have to be enabled while the plane is in the air.

What do you think about the changes to in-flight entertainment? Let us know in the comments section below.

Travel at 60
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